Today marks the fifth anniversary of the passing of Tejano and Conjunto legend Esteban ‘Steve’ Jordan.
“El Parche,” a nickname because of his trademark eye patch, could play 35 different instruments, but was known as the “Jimi Hendrix of the accordion.”
His first official recording sessions were in 1963, featuring a group fronted by the Conjunto Hall of Famer and his wife, singer Virginia Martinez. He had actually been featured on a 78 rpm recording made in San Jose, CA, in the late ’50s, part of a prize for best young Conjunto performer.
Unlike many Conjunto musicians, Jordan kept up with technological advancements, using devices such as phase shifters, fuzz boxes, and synthesizers. He had a unique style, adding bits of fusion jazz and rock into his music. His sound was strong and vivid, “literally jumping out of the grooves,” as one writer once described Jordan’s music.
Jordan grabbed a Grammy nomination for his album Turn Me Loose in 1986, but lost to his old friend Flaco Jimenez.
“El Parche” battled cancer for four years and died of liver complications on August 13, 2010, at the age of 71.
“His music and legacy will ALWAYS live in our heart and soul and the heart and soul of future generations,” Jordan fan and Tejano Network promoter Luisa Medina posted on Facebook. “An admirable person and artist. Thank you Mr. Steve Jordan for your beautiful music!”
We echo those sentiments here at Tejano Nation as we honor the Tejano and Conjunto legend on the fifth anniversary of his passing with a great tribute mix from Tejano Network’s Eddie Olivo.
Listen to a Steve Jordan tribute mix by Eddie Olivo